I love cooking dinner Sunday nights and find that it is the best way to unwind from a hectic week and weekend and gear up for the week coming up. Catch up on Homeland, etc. I have an actual recipe that I used to follow for this but at this point I just sort of winged it and wrote down everything I did timing it all out. You all know by now how very much we like our sauce spicy, you can easily omit the chili flakes. This would also be delicious made with pork, but I made it with turkey. It might be a good idea to use 1/2 pork and 1/2 turkey. You can also use turkey sausage, I had ground turkey in the house so that’s what I used. Pork will throw off a lot more fat and will have to be skimmed off. If made with pork it is best to make a day ahead. In any event I used ingredients I had in pantry which always makes me happy and meat that I had already purchased. I even had those beautiful Italian cherry tomatoes in the can that I had bought and knew I would use for something. It’s a good feeling when you use items from your pantry. Enjoy! we did. I actually made this a few weeks prior to Thanksgiving and just got around to posting it. This sauce freezes up beautifully so eat 1/2 and freeze 1/2 for another time.
unsalted butter, extra-virgin olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, onion, carrots, garlic, celery , tomato paste, red wine, canned cherry tomatoes/canned diced tomatoes , kosher salt, pepper, pasta and I had pancetta in the freezer
meat, ricotta salata/fresh ricotta , Parmesano-Reggiano cheese for grating or just buy fresh grated Parmesan Cheese available almost everywhere .
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs. ground turkey, chicken , or pork. Or pork sausage (tastiest and most fattening) or turkey sausage. You can also do any combo you’d like, 1/2 sausage and 1/2 meat would be good.
4 oz. package of diced up pancetta
*1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes ( only if you like a little kick)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2/3 cup finely diced carrots
2/3 cup finely diced celery
3 1/2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2/3 cup dry red wine (use what you have in house)
1 14 oz. can Italian cherry tomatoes ( sold at Grace’s Marketplace in Greenvale) or canned diced tomatoes . Drain and smash cherry tomatoes. If you can’t find the cherry tomatoes buy canned diced tomatoes and just remember to drain.
2 cups water
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Fresh Ricotta for finishing. I used Ricotta Salata crumbled up on top plus Parmigiano-Reggiano.
1 lb. macaroni type pasta , fusilli , ziti , etc. any kind will do
In a heavy stockpot ( Le Creuset) melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat (you can cook in batches if need to ) cook until just cooked through. Using a slotted spoon , remove the meat from the pot and set aside.
Add the pancetta to the pot and cook until pancetta gets crispy. Stir in the crushed red pepper and garlic for about 1 minute. Add the onion , carrots and celery and cook until onion is translucent , about 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste , cook for another 2 minutes then add the red wine and bring to a simmer.
Add back in the meat to the pot along with the tomatoes, water and salt. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for another hour.
Remove the lid after the first hour, continue to simmer the sauce till it thickens nicely, 1/2 hour more should be sufficient. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper, I didn’t add any more salt, just a few grinds of cracked black pepper.
Cook your pasta according to the package instructions for al dente.
I plated pasta in bowls and spooned sauce over it, if sauce is very thick you can add a little water to it.
Finish each bowl with some cheese of your liking and a dollop of fresh ricotta would be lovely. I used Ricotta Salata and sprinkled Parmigiano-Reggiano over it.
Needless to say this was delicious.
Enjoy! and it’s worth the effort.